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Thread: AncestryDNA update compared to 23andMe

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    The big advantage of MyHeritage is that they show you the chromosome browser with the segments you share with matches. Unfortunately, MyHeritage is less reliable with its ethnicity estimate and creates a lot more false positive matches. So overall, its not very reliable, but still quite useful if you want to compare segments in common. But the good thing is, you can just do the AncestryDNA test and then upload to MyHeritage. The opposite is not possible, because AncestryDNA allows no uploads.
    Thanks for valuable input, I will share it to that friend. Thanks a lot

  2. #52
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    I have mixed feelings on MH. More positive than negative, but it certainly helps to know MH's limitations.

    MH's Ancestry's estimate are held in low esteem by many. MH has not updated in many years, so no reason to believe any improvements are in the near future.

    As for segments, MH "finds" matching segments that no other sites do, but it's not likely that MH has a superior algorithm.

    I have too many matches like this. It's unlikely that any of these very small segments are valid.

    Shared DNA 0.3% (21.2‎ cM)
    Shared segments 3
    Largest segment: 7.5 cM

    I have 15,000 matches and over 50% are doubtful. (1 or 2 small segments)

    OTOH, I have found some key larger matches there. And the Triangulation, Theories of Relativity, and AutoClusters are very strong features. MH has a better presence in Europe if that is of interest.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    For genealogy yes, if you want an ethnicity estimate and your rough uniparental assignment, 23andMe is better. But Ancestry is probably the best complete package for starters.
    Ancestry is better for the ethnicity estimate. 23andMe is too much broad brush strokes.

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  5. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cascio View Post
    Ancestry is better for the ethnicity estimate. 23andMe is too much broad brush strokes.
    "Broad brush strokes" are at least more honest when the resolution isn't adequate to do better. For example, when you have to throw in "and Western Europe" with "England" in order to not leave too much "English" ancestry out. Instead, you suck in an excess amount of folks with continental ancestry and tell them they're really English, at least a lot more English than they may be.

    Over a third of my ancestry was part of the German Palatine migration of the 17th and 18th centuries, but in the update just before the most recent one, Ancestry declared that I didn't have any Germanic Europe. Instead, nearly 3/4 of my ancestry was labeled as England & Northwestern Europe. Meanwhile, though it might have involved "broad brush strokes", 23andMe's 48% French & German -- while perhaps a few percent high -- was at least in the right ball park. Ancestry's 0% was not.

    Curiously, at the same time Ancestry was saying I have no Germanic Europe whatsoever, they attributed maybe 4% to my daughter and identified me (though not by name) as the parent who gave it to her. Today Ancestry is once again attributing at least a small amount of Germanic Europe to me. It's just 4%, but with a range of 0-42%. That's a pretty wide range, which tells me that the algorithm was not quite so confident of this assignment. The same thing was probably also true in the previous update, but Ancestry doesn't provide a range if the assigned estimate is 0% -- even if the range is large.

    Once again, though, they're crediting me as the parent who gave my daughter her 11% Germanic Europe. Like mine, her range is fairly large -- 0-39%. But as you can see, hers does not go quite as high as mine. But in fact, the top of Ancestry's range is the closest in terms of my actual paper trail ancestry, and is much more in line with 23andMe's number.

    Ancestry is also not good with its "fine brush strokes" for Indigenous American ancestry. For most of us who have a bit of it but are predominantly of European ancestry, this input was several generations back. Mine came from a double 5th great grandfather on my maternal grandfather's side, and from a 7th great grandmother on my maternal grandmother's side. Both of these individuals are in my tree more than once: I descend from the 5th great grandfather through two different offspring of his (not with each other, of course!); and I descend from the 7th great grandmother through two different grandchildren of hers (again, not with each other).

    In both cases, I have lots of matches that I share this descent with; and many of these matches also have a small amount of Indigenous American ancestry. I actually have over 800 ThruLines cousins that I share my 5th great grandfather with, for example; and a number of those who are about the same distance from the ancestor I am -- especially those who also have multiple paths back to him -- have a similar level of Indigenous Americas - North.

    But there's a problem with Ancestry's "fine brush strokes" here. In their efforts to break "Indigenous Americas" into several different categories, they presume that a couple of hundred years of tremendous upheaval for Indigenous Americans -- including the complete destruction of some tribes -- that it wouldn't affect the ability to correctly identify the ancestry of the descendants. Many remnants of tribes ended up taking refuge with other tribes, and those other tribes today likely would now include some of their DNA.

    So here's what happened to me between the last update and this one. Previously, I had six segments Ancestry identified as Indigenous Americas - North. Then in the last update, one segment ended up being relabeled as "Unassigned". But it isn't that Ancestry decided this is not still Indigenous Americas. Prior to the official release of the update, there was a brief period when it was possible to use a "backdoor" to being able to see Ancestry's not-yet-official estimate. And right where my "Unassigned" segment now is, the windows were identified with a code signifying Indigenous Americas - Mexico. This wasn't too surprising to me, since Ancestry has gone back and forth on just what to call my Indigenous Americas ancestry in some of their past estimates. I've even sometimes had small amounts of both, meaning they split their designation.

    The problem, however, was that Ancestry decided to only report ancestries that totaled at least 0.5%. While my total Indigenous Americas was well above that, this one segment was not sufficient for Ancestry to assign me any Indigenous Americas - Mexico. So they only gave me a percentage for Indigenous Americas - North and assigned those segments.

    Meanwhile, what do you suppose Ancestry did with my daughter, who inherited five of my six Indigenous Americas segments? Including the one Ancestry labeled as Unassigned for me. They labeled all five of her segments as Indigenous Americas - North. That's right, the same segment they said was Indigenous Americas - Mexico for me in the unofficial version of the update, but while they eventually just called "Unassigned", they labeled as Indigenous Americas - North for my daughter.

    In addition, I have two tested nieces at Ancestry. Each is the daughter of one of my full sisters. The first one of them elected to only show in-common ethnicities to her matches. And the way Ancestry defines "in common" for Indigenous Americas categories is that they are not in-common with each other. 23andMe would just call it "Indigenous American" and let it go at that.

    Anyway, there's a workaround for finding out what the "hidden" ancestries of your matches are. While you can't see unshared ancestries on a PC, the phone app does show these ancestries. Or rather, it used to. I just look, and apparently Ancestry has now caught up with the discrepancy.

    Before they did, I saw that this niece had been assigned 1% Indigenous Americas - Ecuador. Yet her Indigenous Americas ancestry is all from my full sister, who has exactly the same ancestors I do -- no more, and no less. The second niece made a different election, to show all of her ethnicity assignments to her matches. So I can see that Ancestry didn't assign her any Indigenous Americas - North, either. No, they assigned her 1% Indigenous Americas - Mexico.

    Now, as it happens this second niece also tested at 23andMe. There I can see exactly where her Indigenous American segments are located. I can also see where her mother's segments are located, and where the segments are located for the mother of my other niece at Ancestry -- the one with the Indigenous Americas - Ecuador.

    The mother of the niece who chose to hide her non-shared ancestries shares four of the segments I do, and also has three small segments I do not. I have two segments she does not. Presumably, the niece's segments are located only in places where her mother has such segments, and likely she didn't inherit all of them. The point is, her Indigenous Americas - Ecuador ancestry likely not only is from the exact same ancestors as my Indigenous Americas - North, and my other niece's Indigenous Americas - Mexico, at least some of the segments are even the same segments!

    So I think there's an appropriate use for these "broad brush strokes". That's when you can't legitimately really try to be any more precise -- when such attempts actually lead to errors or mischaracterization. You can try to pretend that neighboring countries have less overlap than they do, and design your reference panels to eliminate as much as possible, but you won't really become any more accurate in doing so.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  7. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cascio View Post
    Ancestry is better for the ethnicity estimate. 23andMe is too much broad brush strokes.
    Better that than making distinctions they can't make for the regions and people I'm interested in. Like English and North Western vs. Scandinavian vs. Germanic Europe or Balkan vs. Greek and Balkan etc. The values just jump in between without a safe assignment. Contrary to that, 23andMe is more consistent.

    Like geebee was writing, I have matches which are 1/4 or 1/8 German and get zero German in the estimate. Does 23andMe make mistakes too? Yes. Do they miss more than 1/8 German ancestry? Not that I'm aware of it. And I'm talking for my matches not about borderline Scandinavian Germans, but mostly those from Niedersachsen and South, because I have no genuine matches from Schleswig-Holstein and Scandinavia other than people which migrated there from elsewhere.

    But 23andMe has indeed its own problems with the reference selection too, unfortunately, because people with 4 grandparents from a given state can be used as references, even though they might belong to a different ethnicity in part or even fully so. The selection got better over the years it seems, but they still don't do it perfectly. E.g. Russian Germans used for Eastern Europe and Russian regions. I mean the regions are even interesting, because their ancestors lived there, but the increased Eastern European even in Russian Germans with zero Russian ancestry - which might be the result from mixed Germans being used as a reference, could be an issue. It was so in the past, but they improved considerably. But I think, going by some results, its still somewhat of an issue.
    Last edited by Riverman; 01-24-2023 at 12:13 PM.

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  9. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    The big advantage of MyHeritage is that they show you the chromosome browser with the segments you share with matches. Unfortunately, MyHeritage is less reliable with its ethnicity estimate and creates a lot more false positive matches. So overall, its not very reliable, but still quite useful if you want to compare segments in common. But the good thing is, you can just do the AncestryDNA test and then upload to MyHeritage. The opposite is not possible, because AncestryDNA allows no uploads.
    Thanks a lot here

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  11. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    The big advantage of MyHeritage is that they show you the chromosome browser with the segments you share with matches. Unfortunately, MyHeritage is less reliable with its ethnicity estimate and creates a lot more false positive matches. So overall, its not very reliable, but still quite useful if you want to compare segments in common. But the good thing is, you can just do the AncestryDNA test and then upload to MyHeritage. The opposite is not possible, because AncestryDNA allows no uploads.
    I actually have four different sets of results from MyHeritage, using files from four different companies. They are: Ancestry; FTDNA; 23andMe; and MyHeritage.

    Based on the Ancestry file (v1, I think)

    Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 46.6%
    North and West European 34.1%
    Iberian 9.5%
    Italian 7.3%
    Native American 1.5%
    Mesoamerican and Andean 1.0%

    Based on the FTDNA Family Finder file

    Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 51.0%
    North and West European 31.3%
    Iberian 8.3%
    Italian 7.7%
    Native American 1.7%

    Based on the 23andMe (v2-v3)

    Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 50.4%
    North and West European 26.7%
    Iberian 10.0%
    Italian 9.2%
    Finnish 1.4%
    Native American 1.6%
    Mesoamerican and Andean 0.7%

    Based on the MyHeritage file

    Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 51.6%
    North and West European 36.6%
    Iberian 6.5%
    Greek and South Italian 1.9%
    Mesoamerican and Andean 1.2%
    Native American 1.1%
    Central Asian 1.1%

    For the most part the same or related groups appear, but the percentages vary. I have no idea what the "Central Asia" from the MyHeritage is about, since that's the only one of the four that shows this.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post

    Like geebee was writing, I have matches which are 1/4 or 1/8 German and get zero German in the estimate.
    Speaking in general terms and not taking sides, surely no individual inherits everything from his ancestors.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cascio View Post
    Speaking in general terms and not taking sides, surely no individual inherits everything from his ancestors.
    That's true, but you don't lose one quarter of your ancestry. But that's not even the point, because some of them have tested on 23andMe as well and there they get their German part. So its not like its not there, its just that AncestryDNA doesn't recognise it. The good thing is that I have some Scandinavian in the mix still, just a tiny bit, but so I see it if people get just Scandinavian for their German, which a lot do. But some don't even get that, even though their German ancestry is fairly recent, resulting in matches which have neither Germanic Europe nor Scandinavian for me.
    It happens on 23andMe as well, with more distant German ancestry, but rarely if ever at that level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    That's true, but you don't lose one quarter of your ancestry. But that's not even the point, because some of them have tested on 23andMe as well and there they get their German part. So its not like its not there, its just that AncestryDNA doesn't recognise it. The good thing is that I have some Scandinavian in the mix still, just a tiny bit, but so I see it if people get just Scandinavian for their German, which a lot do. But some don't even get that, even though their German ancestry is fairly recent, resulting in matches which have neither Germanic Europe nor Scandinavian for me.
    It happens on 23andMe as well, with more distant German ancestry, but rarely if ever at that level.
    It happens on 23andMe depending on the testers particular background.

    For example, I've seen cases where someone who is 75% Irish + 25% French/German can easily score 100% British & Irish on 23andMe. This has basically only happened since the introduction of their smoothing update, which I've seen work well in some people, and poorly for others.

    For me personally, AncestryDNA is much better with my Dodecanese relatives results than 23andMe is. Most people score 100% Aegean Islands on AncestryDNA if they are actually from there. On 23andMe, the same people score a mix of Italian and random West Asian categories (ICM, Anatolian, Cypriot, Broadly, even Levantine sometimes). Two close relatives almost never have the same West Asian categories and the Southern European to West Asian ratio itself is very unreliable. I've even seen a case where one sibling scores 50-50 SouthEuro-WestAsian, and the other 15-85 SouthEuro-WestAsian.

    23andMe cannot handle mixed Dodecanese ancestry too.

    Half French/German and half Dodecanese will often score very high levels of Italian (the mixture imitates an actual Italian?).

    Half East Asian and half Dodecanese will often come up as mostly Anatolian (the mixture becomes closer to Turks?).

    Half Jewish and half Dodecanese will come up as half Cypriot / half Jewish (the Levantine shift of the Jewish side causes similarity to Cypriots?)

    None of these things happen on AncestryDNA. Half Dodecanese half x will usually come up as 50% Aegean Islands and 50% what their other half is.

    So it depends on your background whether 23andMe or AncestryDNA will perform better. For my background, 23andMe is outright unreliable and has been that way forever but made even worse by their smoothing update. I doubt it will ever be fixed, because they seem to focus mostly on Health nowadays.
    Code:
    23abc_AncestryDNA_scaled,0.110408,0.151314,-0.0290383,-0.0507112,0.0018465,-0.0156179,-0.00305514,-0.00138456,-0.00899905,0.00911181,0.00243583,-0.00149867,-0.00431116,0.00344057,-0.00773606,0.00106072,0.00195576,0.00152026,0.00251396,-0.00550264,-0.00786113,-0.00197844,0.0025882,0.00168699,0.000957998

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